Marino happy to be back on the job after surgery
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Tom Marino (R-10) returned to work this week after recovering from cancer surgery on his kidneys less than a month earlier.
"I'm fine and feeling great," Marino said from his Washington, D.C. office. "I came back Monday afternoon, and just started right in, going to meetings, meeting with my staff and colleagues and voting."
The first-term congressman from Lycoming County underwent surgery April 10 at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio to remove small tumors on his right kidney. It was Marino's third kidney surgery since 2008.
"In 2008, doctors removed part of my left kidney and then came back and took the rest later. I have a condition in my genetic makeup called renal cell carcinoma, which I will always have," he said.
Doctors said following the procedure that Marino is expected to make a full recovery.
"The surgery went well and they removed all the cancerous tumors on my remaining kidney," Marino said.
The alternative to the surgery was dialysis, but that treatment could have meant the end of Marino's congressional career.
"Dialysis treatment would have been three hours a day, three times a week, and that could have caused some scheduling difficulties," he said.
Following the surgery, Marino said he clashed with the doctor a bit on the time he would be away from Congress. Dr. Jihad Kaouk, Marino's surgeon, advised him to take to six to eight weeks but Marino hoped for much less time off.
"After about four weeks, I was starting to get a little fidgety around the house. My wife, Edie, and I both agreed at the same time that it was time to get back to Washington. I told the doctor I would be doing less physical lifting at the office than at home, so he let me come back to work," he said.
His time off was not all lounging around either, he said. About two weeks after surgery, Marino toured his congressional district and met with constituents in his office for a couple hours each day before recuperating at home.
"I have a great staff that kept the ship on course, and I was in contact with them every other day, keeping in touch with what was going on," Marino said.
The important thing to him was staying in contact with the his constituents.
"I get a lot of good, common-sense ideas from the people I meet on how to make things more efficient and improve the quality of life in the 10th Congressional District," Marino said.
During his recuperation, Marino received approximately 2,000 cards, e-mails, phone calls, flower deliveries and even a few "tweets" from people within and outside of the district.
"Everyone has just been so supportive, telling me that my family and I are in their prayers. I heard from colleagues who called from the Capitol to check on me. It's a very humbling experience," he said.
Marino said he won't forget that support as he works in any of his offices.
"I'm back with even more enthusiasm to get this country back on track," he said. "I thank my constituents for their support during this time, and I repeat my pledge to you all: You have my back in the district, and I will have your back here in Washington, D.C."